Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Celebrate National Nutrition Month this March by Packing Healthy Bento Lunches with Laptop Lunches

Since 1973, the American Diabetic Association has urged Americans to focus on making informed food choices and developing sound eating and exercise habits during National Nutrition Month each March. This March, Laptop Lunches® is challenging you and your family to celebrate National Nutrition Month by packing a healthy lunch for each day of the month! Using a Laptop Lunches® bento lunch box will simplify the process of creating wholesome, on-the-go meals for all ages.

Named the first-place winner in the Best Kids Lunch Box category of the SheKnows 2010 Parenting Awards, Laptop Lunches® bento lunch boxes are great for school, play, travel, and more! They are reusable, recyclable, dishwasher/microwave safe, and contain no phthalates, bisphenol A (BPA), or lead. Adults can also pack meals for work in their Laptop Lunches® bento box. Each bento box holds five inner containers of varying sizes that accommodate a variety of foods and encourage a balanced meal that covers all of the major food groups. Try filling up the large containers with a sandwich, pasta salad, or fruit, and packing veggies, a hard-boiled egg, or yogurt in the smaller containers. The options are endless!

The theme for National Nutrition Month 2011 is “Eat Right with Color.” This fits perfectly with the idea of using a bento box, which encourages the creation of visually appealing meals that taste even better than they look! Visit the Laptop Lunches® Bento Menu Library for 365 delicious lunch ideas that are fun to make and delicious to eat. Each menu is designed with nutrition in mind, so you can feel good knowing that you are making smart choices when it comes to what you pack for lunch. For even more creative menu ideas, check out the Laptop Lunches User’s Guide, a book full of healthy lunch ideas, lunch making tips, and recipes.

National Nutrition Month is a great opportunity to take a look at the ways that your family can improve eating habits and make healthier food choices. This March, make the switch to packing bento lunches for your children, instead of sending them to school with lunch money or packing the same old peanut butter and jelly sandwich in a brown bag. When lunchtime rolls around at the office, take out your bento lunch and enjoy a satisfying meal that’s good for you, instead of making a trip to the vending machine or the local fast food restaurant. Laptop Lunches® bento boxes make it simple! Visit to learn more.

About Laptop Lunches®
Obentec, Inc. was founded in 2001 by two California moms, with the mission of helping families improve lunchtime nutrition while reducing waste. Winner of the 2010 Best Kids Lunch Box Award from, Laptop Lunches® are affordable, high quality, made-in-the-USA meal containers designed for people on the go, and are perfect for school, work, play, travel, and take out. The founders of Obentec, Inc. believe that healthy kids come from healthy communities; thus Obentec is committed to giving back to schools and environmental organizations. Learn more at

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

T.G.I. Friday’s Donates One Can of Food for Every New Facebook Fan

The Bistro Group, the nation’s third largest franchisee of T.G.I. Friday’s restaurants, announces their Can For A Fan virtual food drive benefitting seven regional food banks. T.G.I. Friday’s in the Cincinnati area will donate one can of food for every new Facebook fan at T.G.I. Friday’s is creating the online campaign as a fun and simple way for individuals to support the Cincinnati community.

T.G.I. Friday’s will continue the campaign until 3,000 cans have been donated or through December 31.The Freestore Foodbank successfully distributes over 12 million pounds of food per year through a dedicated network of over 325 local Member Agencies.

“We are proud to lead the community in this initiative to help feed local families facing hunger,” shares Amie Dancu, Director of Marketing for T.G.I. Friday’s franchisee, The Bistro Group. “Especially during the holidays, T.G.I. Friday’s recognizes that our communities need our support.”

About The Bistro Group:
Locally owned by the Conway family in Cincinnati, Ohio, The Bistro Group is the nation’s third largest franchisee of T.G.I. Friday’s restaurants. With more than 30 T.G.I. Friday’s across Ohio, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, The Bistro Group has successfully grown its family business over the past 20 years.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

New Year Product Ideas from ChefsChoice

Ring in the New Year or celebrate the Chinese New Year with a perfectly brewed cup of temperature sensitive white or green tea, renowned for health benefits and soothing qualities. Chef’sChoice® SmartKettle™, the world’s most advanced electric kettle, quickly heats water to the ideal and precise temperature desired. This highly energy-efficient electric kettle, uses only half the energy compared to a kettle on an electric stovetop. Heats water directly to desired temperature with an accuracy of 1˚F and a “Keep Warm” feature maintains it until ready to pour. It is ideal for preparing temperature sensitive teas including white, green, oolong, herbal and rooibos. With 1500 watts of power, the SmartKettle™ heats water faster than a microwave or stove top to make not only tea, but instant coffee, hot chocolate, hot cereals, instant soup, jello, pasta and blanch vegetables at the perfect water temperature.
MSRP $99.99 USA and $119.99. See the complete line of electric kettles at

Nicks on your glassware from the season’s festive toasts? The Chef’sChoice® Crystal Crafter by EdgeCraft quickly and easily smoothes away nicks, jagged edges and other imperfections to renew fine crystal, bone china, porcelain, ceramics, glass and other valued hard materials. The Crystal CrafterÔ is a half-round four-inch steel “wand” coated with 100-percent diamond abrasives. EdgeCraft’s proprietary process electroplates 100-percent diamond abrasives crystals securely onto steel, and ensures that the coating will last longer than coatings applied with conventional plating processes. The Crystal CrafterÔ wand is specially shaped to polish out imperfections on both rounded rims and straight edges. The high-impact polymer handle is shaped and textured for a secure, comfortable non-slip grip. The Crystal CrafterÔ is made in the U.S.A. MSRP $19.99 USA and Canada $24.99.

Knives dulled by holiday food preparation and continual year round use? Get your knives in top shape with one of our best-selling electric knife sharpeners. Featured here is the Chef’sChoice® EdgeSelect® Model 120: This professional, three stage Diamond HoneÒ knife sharpener incorporates conical 100% diamond coated disks in Stage 1 and 2 and a revolutionary stropping/polishing Stage 3, to create, in just seconds, an edge of unprecedented sharpness and durability on fine edge (straight edge) and serrated knives. The flawless, highly polished fine edge can be customized to suit the cutting task. High precision elastomeric angle guides eliminate all guesswork., assembled in U.S.A. Available in brushed metal, platinum, white, black and red. MSRP $139.99 to $169.99 USA and $169.99 to $199.99 Canada. From electrics to manuals, Chef’sChoice offers a complete line of affordable knife sharpeners to suit your every sharpening need. Visit for more information.

Graeter’s Vs, Aglamesis Brothers on "Food Feuds"

The newest show on the Food Network, Food Feuds, will feature Cincinnati-based ice cream maker Graeter’s in a taste-off competition airing Thursday, December 30, at 10 p.m. EST. The showdown becomes a family affair when the fourth generation of the Graeter’s family takes on the third generation of the Aglamesis Brothers Ice Cream.

Hosted by Cleveland-native Michael Symon of Iron Chef America, Food Feuds visits two new cities each week to decide a winner between rival food institutions that each claim the best dish.

It’s the Graeter’s process that makes the ice cream so unique. Made in small, 2-gallon batches using a traditional French Pot process, the result is a creamy and irresistible texture that has made it a hometown favorite since 1870. Even Oprah can’t resist! (

For a sneak peak at the Food Feuds episode featuring Graeter’s, which was filmed in September 2010, visit:

A “Star” Is Born In Newport. Yum….

One of my favorite lines in all of American cinema is from the 1981 comedy “Arthur.” There is the scene where Dudley Moore introduces Liza Minnelli to his butler, played by Sir John Gielgud and Sir John replies, “It is a pleasure to meet you madam. Usually one must go to a bowling alley to meet a woman of your stature.” Well, this isn’t your granddad’s bowling alley.

We received several invitations to come and try the new menu at Star Lanes located on the lower level of Newport on the Levee and actually had to be harassed into doing so. I mean, who really wants to eat at a bowling alley?! But it turns out, Star Lanes is the new place to go in Greater Cincinnati–not only to bowl–but also to eat, drink and make merry! Star Lanes features 16 lanes and a bar as long as 12 of them… not to mention the food.

With the offer to eat and bowl, I took my 70-year-old uncle to try out Star Lanes before taking in Denzel Washington’s “Unstoppable.” We were greeted by the lovely Brooke and served by the equally lovely Courtney. For the next 60 minutes we were subjected to more food than a human should be allowed to eat. But when the food is good, that’s not bad!

After asking for suggestions, we first took on the macaroni and cheese. This wasn’t the gooey slop that comes in the box, this was shaped in to bite-sized triangular finger food and deep fried! I’m not a huge mac and cheese guy, but served with a side of tomato based pasta sauce, it is a very cool and yummy twist on an American classic.

Unsolicited, we were also sent their signature chicken salad with goat cheese. Chilled pieces of white meat chicken served atop fresh baby spinach with cranberries and a pomegranate vinaigrette was fresh and sweet. It’s a great lighter alternative to some of the more substantial offerings.

I had to try the onion rings and they did not disappoint. The large breaded rings are obviously made fresh, not frozen. I shared a couple of the small ones with my uncle, but needed a mint afterwards because I ate them all!

My uncle chowed down on grilled–not fried–BBQ chicken wings, which are also available in Buffalo sauce. He proclaimed how good they were, but he didn’t really need too as he hoarded them for himself! Payback for the onion rings, I guess.

I wanted to try a meat option as well as the fish, so I started out with mini-burgers. It is really difficult to prepare these so that they don’t come out as miniature hockey pucks, so I asked for them to be prepared “medium” and by gosh, that’s the way they came out! You can tell this was fresh beef as it was tender and juicy. Cheddar cheese was melted on the burger and topped with crisp applewood bacon. The buns were soft and fresh as well. This is by far the best slider I’ve ever had.

The fish sandwich was equally as yummy featuring two hand-battered fish filets on toasted focaccia bread. Lettuce, fresh tomato slices and tartar sauce accompanied. Usually in such a setting one is served frozen fish, but not at Star Lanes. This fish actually had flavor!

Fries were shoestring in orientation served Jeff Ruby style in a stainless cup and housed in folded parchment-like paper. Hot, crisp and not over salted, they are a great accompaniment to their meat, fish or poultry.

Finally, we were offered both their chocolate cake and chocolate sundae for desert. But feeling like Henry XIII after a half dozen turkey legs, we said we’d like to try the cake. They sent it along with three scoops of ice cream.

Unfortunately, this was the one weak link in an otherwise perfect chain. The piece is actually a quarter of a cake. It’s huge!–enough to easily feed three or four people. It was frankly stale and tasted as if it had been sitting out overnight unprotected from the elements. But after an otherwise great experience, I surely wasn’t going to complain.

As for bowling… well, it’s has been about 9 years since I have bowled and it showed. Using the bowling ball I dug out of my parents basement that I purchased about 35 years ago when I was a wee lad, in regular light it is a beautiful burgundy. In the black light of Star Lanes however, it was a dingy gray. (But our clothes had a neat glow!) My uncle–who had not bowled in 10 years–spotted me two gutter balls in the first frame of game one, but still beat me. However, youth prevailed in game two as I handled him easily. We’ll just say we both broke 100 in both games. “Unstoppable” was predictable, but well acted and entertaining.

So next time you are looking for some good eats and entertainment rolled into one, roll to the bowl at Star Lanes in Newport. A good time should be had by all!


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

New Years at The White House Inn

Ring in the New Year! The White House Inn New Year, Friday December 31st, 2010
3 Course Menu Showing - $45 per Person

1st Course
Pan seared sea scallop + squash puree + Frangelico brown butter
Suggested wine: Kim Crawford unoaked chardonnay

Roasted turkey + pumpkin tart with walnut crust
Suggested wine: J. Lohr Cabernet Sauvignon

2nd Course
Spring mix + carrots + cherry tomatoes+ red onion

Romaine lettuce + roasted garlic Caesar dressing, fresh goat cheese

Pallet cleanser
Pear sorbet

3rd course
12 oz Prime rib + sundried tomato pesto butter + new potatoes + roasted root vegetables
Suggested wine: Red Diamond Merlot

Cumin rubbed Pork loin + orange glazed sweet potatoes + fresh micro greens
Suggested wine: MacMurray pinot noir

Lobster Bolognese + tortellini + Basil + Shaved Parmesan
Suggested wine: Pighin Pinot Grigio

Dessert specials $8
Maple and espresso tort + white chocolate mousse+ candied walnuts + fresh berries

Pumpkin cheese cake + house made caramel + candied walnuts

Don't Settle For Green Beer This St. Patrick's Day, Celebrate With Exclusiv Vodka's Original Saint Pat's-tini Cocktail

St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated with parades, dyeing rivers and eating foods that are green, and, most importantly, by celebrating the festive holiday with friends, and of course- spirits. You don’t have to be Irish to join in on the fun, and Exclusiv Vodka offers an alternative to the typical green beer served at Paddy’s Day parties throughout the country. An original St. Patrick’s Day cocktail was created by Exclusiv Vodka so that taste and style do not have to be compromised while toasting on March 17. Using traditional St. Patrick’s Day flavors and ingredients, Exclusiv Vodka mixologist, Daniel Seelbinder has created a cocktail that promises to add a delicious twist to the luckiest of all holidays.

Impress your friends by serving this delicious St. Patrick’s Day cocktail:

Exclusiv Saint Pat’s-tini

2 oz Exclusiv Vodka
1/2 oz Creme de Cocoa
1 oz Bailey's Irish Cream
1/2 oz green Creme de Menthe

Shake first three ingredients pour into a chilled martini glass and then sink Green Creme de Menthe.

Garnish with a mint leaf and chocolate shavings.

About Saint Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day was first celebrated in America 1737 and has long been synonymous with celebration. Once confined to Irish neighborhoods, this March 17th holiday has grown dramatically in popularity over the years with over 100 U.S. cities hosting St. Patrick’s Day parades this year.

Folklore Note:

Leprechauns are believed to secretly live and work as cobblers. If you follow the sound of their little hammers and lay eyes on a leprechaun, you must apprehend him so that he will tell you where to find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Luckily, you don’t have to work as hard for the Exclusiv Vodca St. Pat’s-tini.

About Exclusiv Vodca
From the gentle rolling wheat fields of Moldova, near the shores of the Black Sea, comes an escape reminiscent of icy mountain tops and crystal clear streams. What was once only for royalty and members of high society can now also be exclusively yours.

With its Russian heritage gifting the highest standards for the production of vodka, Exclusiv Vodka is truly a world-class vodka. This luxurious tasting spirit is made with only the highest quality winter wheat and the finest distilling process, giving it a sweeter, more polished taste without polishing techniques, just like the members of high society preferred over the course of history.

Described as,”Clear. Subtle, creamy mocha aromas and flavors with hints of dried cherries and spice and a long, delicate cream and powdered sugar fade. Very smooth, tasty, and appealing,” it’s an expensive taste without the expensive price. Exclusiv Vodka is affordably priced at $20 for 1.75 liters - perfect for consumers who value quality and taste, and their wallet.

Get Fit and Healthy in 2011 with a Help from Element Bars!

Element Bars is a Chicago based energy bar company that is giving consumers the ability to create their own bar by choosing from all natural and organic ingredients. People are inherently different and have their own unique tastes, nutritional needs and wants. That’s why Element Bars bakes the bars using the ingredients the customer has chosen and delivers them fresh from their ovens to the customer’s door. “We give customers the online tools to create their own bars so they can truly enjoy a unique customized experience,” says Element Bars Founder, Jonathan Miller.

Go Online and Get Creative with the Element Bar Customization Process:
• Core – the first step in the process is choosing the core/base for your bar. Would you like it to be chewy, oaty, crispy or datey?
• Fruits – next up is the addition of your favorite fruits.
• Nuts - then, if you so desire, add in some crunch with nuts.
• Sweets – sweeten things up with the addition of honey, pumpkin spice, and more.
• Boosts – looking for a little something extra in your custom bar? You can add in Whey Protein, Omega-3, and other performance and health boosting options.
• Name your bar – as this just might be the funnest part of the process, you can choose to do this first or last as there is an icon that you can click on anytime.

*While at work (or should we say play) creating your custom bar, you will see a label that lists the nutrition facts for the bar which changes as you add/subtract ingredients. Plus, you will receive a warning notice if there are incompatible ingredients while you are designing your bar to help you create the perfect bar the first time.

Raising the Bar
A pioneer in the custom energy bar market, Jonathan Miller created Element Bars two years ago when he realized that customers were really embracing the customization trend. The idea for custom bars in particular sparked from a conversation with a friend. Jonathan was snacking on an energy bar that he had made in his kitchen when a friend shared that he too would like to make a bar but one with almonds and raisins. Since Jonathan is not a fan of raisins, he concluded that people have different tastes and want products made to match their preferences. He then developed a unique and interactive drag and drop interface bringing the custom energy bar to life.

Visit to create and name your own box of bars (one dozen) for just $36 or sample the company’s own creations and/or their variety pack (one dozen) for just $24. Need a gift? Go for a gift certificate and choose from 5 different price options or give a box of bars that comes packaged in a gift box w/note.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Buffalo Trace Distillery Repairs Aging Warehouse

What used to be the site of where the mighty buffalo crossed over the Kentucky River is now the site of heavy cranes and lifts at Buffalo Trace Distillery this month as repairs are being made to Warehouse B, the oldest aging barrel warehouse on the property grounds.

Warehouse B, constructed in 1884, is a fine example of a brick aging warehouse. The walls are constructed of brick and mortar and the interior houses an extensive rick system made of heart pine, a favored wood for construction in that time period, but one that can’t be found today.

The aging warehouse stood strong for more than 120 years, until a tornado hit the structure in 2006 that caused significant damage. Fortunately the warehouse was empty at the time, but the north wall and the northwest corner of the roof were damaged.

Over the next few months, Warehouse B is undergoing repairs to rebuild it as it stood before it was damaged by the tornado. The purpose of the restoration is to bring the building back to the strength and stature it once held and to maintain the historical integrity of the Distillery as a whole.

The repair work, which started in October, includes the northwest corner of the roof, and rebuilding all the windows on the northwest wall utilizing as many existing components as possible. Windows on the remaining three walls will be reconstructed as necessary. Repairs to the mortar will be made with the same mortar recipe used by the original builders.

In order to keep the exterior of the warehouse with the same look as before the tornado, as much brick as possible will be salvaged. A steam heating system will also be added so temperature can be maintained inside the building to prevent condensation and the accumulation of moisture which will keep the structure from deteriorating.

The repairs are targeted to be complete by March 2011, weather permitting. Sullivan & Cozart Inc. of Louisville, Ky. is handling the repairs.

About Buffalo Trace
Buffalo Trace Distillery is a family-owned company based in Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky. The distillery's rich distilling tradition dates back to 1787 and includes such legends as E.H. Taylor, Jr., George T. Stagg, Albert B. Blanton, Orville Schupp, and Elmer T. Lee. Buffalo Trace Distillery is a fully operational distillery producing bourbon, rye and vodka on site and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Distillery has won seven distillery titles since 2000 from such notable publications as Whisky Magazine, Malt Advocate Magazine and Wine Enthusiast Magazine. It was named Whisky Magazine 2010 World Icons of Whisky “Whisky Visitor Attraction of the Year.” Buffalo Trace Distillery has also garnered more than 200 awards for its wide range of premium whiskies. To learn more about Buffalo Trace Distillery visit

Chase Vodka chooses Pelican Brands to conquer the US

Chase distillery, from Herefordshire, has appointed Pelican Brands to market its unique range of spirits in the US.

Chase - who won the the accolade of the “World’s Best Vodka” at the globally renowned San Francisco World Spirits Competition this year - has identified the US as potentially its largest growth area and Pelican are predicting that Chase Vodka will become a $100 million brand.

“We all know just how tough the vodka market is but there is always room for a brand made with genuine care and attention. Chase Vodka needs no hype – just taste it and you will know why it’s been voted the World’s best,” said Don C. Hammond, President of Pelican Brands.

The Chase distillery is housed in a converted hop kiln barn surrounded by acres of rolling fields of potatoes, apple orchards and grazing Herefordshire cattle.

The first bottle of Chase English Potato Vodka was launched on April Fools’ Day 2008 and took two years in the making. It was the first and still remains the only English potato vodka in the world. It’s made from potatoes grown on William’s farm in Herefordshire from the varieties Lady Claire and Lady Rosetta.

J. Smoke Wallin, Chairman of Pelican Brands, said, “We are building a very exciting and powerful portfolio of spirit brands and the opportunity to partner with the ‘World’s Best’ vodka was too good to miss. More important than the award is the deep integrity and care with which Chase brands are made.”

“Pelican Brands offers drinks’ importers a different way of supporting and driving their brands. We offer a customer and consumer focused approach, combined with world class brand strategy expertise.”

“We nurture every brand on an individual basis; we don’t try and apply a “one-size-fits-all” solution for every brand. We use in-depth consumer insight to define the brand strategy, not our own pre-conceived ideas.”

Friday, December 17, 2010

Save the Date: IHOP's Free Pancake Giveaway Returns March 1, 2011

IHOP, one of America’s favorite restaurants for breakfast, lunch and dinner, has announced plans to serve free pancakes as part of the company’s philanthropic National Pancake Day on Tuesday, March 1, 2011. Planned as a celebration of friends, family and community, IHOP hopes the program in 2011 will raise $2.3 million for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, a charity that raises funds for 170 children’s hospitals, as well as other worthy local causes.

More than 1,500 IHOP restaurants throughout the United States will invite guests to enjoy a free short stack of IHOP’s signature buttermilk pancakes from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. as part of the sixth annual National Pancake Day. Guests are invited to donate what they would have paid for the free pancakes, or more, to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals or other worthy causes.

"IHOP’s National Pancake Day has become a highly anticipated annual event in communities throughout the United States, and provides our guests a fun opportunity to support the efforts of Children's Miracle Network Hospitals and other local charities," said Jean Birch, IHOP’s president. "Last year, we surpassed our goal of raising $5 million in our first five years, and this year we are raising the bar again with our most ambitious fundraising goal to date.”

Additionally, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals “Miracle Balloons” will be sold for $1 and $5 each and will be personalized and displayed at participating IHOP restaurants from February 1 through March 1, 2011. Miracle Balloons offer guests an additional way to show their support of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and contribute to the IHOP National Pancake Day fundraising effort.

Since the inception of its National Pancake Day in 2006, IHOP has raised more than $5.35 million to support charities in the communities in which it operates. In 2010 alone, IHOP served more than four million free pancakes and raised over $2.1 million in support of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and other local charities.

For more information about IHOP’s National Pancake Day, or to learn more about Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and make an online donation, visit

ABOUT CHILDREN'S MIRACLE NETWORK HOSPITALS Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals® raises funds for 170 children’s hospitals across North America, which, in turn, use the money where it’s needed the most. When a donation is given it stays in the community, ensuring that every dollar is helping local kids. Since 1983, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals has raised more than $4 billion, most of it $1 at a time. These donations have gone to support research and training, purchase equipment, and pay for uncompensated care, all in support of our mission to save and improve the lives of as many children as possible. Learn more at

For 52 years, the IHOP family restaurant chain has served its world famous pancakes and a wide variety of breakfast, lunch and dinner items that are loved by people of all ages. IHOP offers its guests an affordable, everyday dining experience with warm and friendly service. The first IHOP opened in Toluca Lake, Calif. in 1958, and as of September 30, 2010, there were 1,483 IHOPs in 50 states and the District of Columbia, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. IHOP restaurants are franchised and operated by Glendale, Calif.-based International House of Pancakes, LLC and its affiliates. International House of Pancakes, LLC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of DineEquity, Inc. (NYSE: DIN).

Editors Note: Pancake Day is a tradition that dates back several centuries to when the English prepped for fasting during Lent. Strict rules prohibited the eating of all dairy products during Lent, so pancakes were made to use up the supply of eggs, milk, butter and other dairy products…hence the name Pancake Tuesday, or Shrove Tuesday. In 2011, IHOP’s National Pancake Day will come one week early, as the popular annual campaign has evolved into a month-long celebration that takes place during the month of February. It will culminate with the free flapjack giveaway on March 1.

Free Family got milk? Event in Cincinnati

The national Milk Mustache got milk? Campaign is bringing the “Pour One More” event to Cincinnati to encourage moms to build strong families and close America’s nutrient gap with milk. The campaign will host a free, interactive event on Thursday, January 13 from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. at Cincinnati Museum Center.

At the event, local families can:
Receive FREE fat free or lowfat servings of milk from local dairies Kroger and H. Meyer Dairy
Get personalized nutritional advice from a registered dietitian
Pose for their very own Milk Mustache phot

Date: Thursday, January, 13, 2011
Location: Cincinnati Museum Center (1301 Western Ave. Cincinnati 45203
Time: 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Cost: FREE

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Chocolate Library, New York

Just in time for the holiday season, The Chocolate Library is now open in New York City's East Village at 111 St. Mark's Place, between First Avenue and Avenue A. Featuring hard-to-find artisanal confections from chocolatiers across the United States, Belgium, Switzerland, France, Italy and other countries renowned for chocolate-making, The Chocolate Library is a one-stop shop for chocolate lovers looking for a stellar selection of their favorite sweets.

Organized by country and brand, The Chocolate Library offers an array of holiday gift options, including gorgeous gift boxes from Belgium's Neuhaus, Sweden's Fika, California's Jer's, Florida's William Dean Chocolates and New York's own Payard and Xocolatti. Beautifully-wrapped stocking stuffer options include gift bags from Luxembourg's Genaveh, Long Island-based label Gotta Eat Sweet's truffle & brownie Truffipops and France's Aux Anysetiers du Roy fondues. A 10% discount is available to corporate clients through the end of the year.

Satisfying every kind of palate year-round, The Chocolate Library offers excellent chocolate selections suitable for special diets. Ecuador's delectable Pacari bars are certified Kosher Parve and come in imaginative flavors like Andean blueberry, lemongrass, salt & cacao nibs and a fabulous 100% raw bar. France's high quality Guy Roux chocolates are sugar-free and New York's Dina's Organic Chocolates are gluten-free, while local chocolatier Gnosis makes handmade raw vegan chocolate bars in flavors like pomegranate acai and aphrodisia.

The Chocolate Library owners Byron Bennett and Sharon Torregrossa currently carries 36 brands from 10 countries, with plans to add another 70 gourmet brands from across South and North America and Europe to shelves by Valentine's Day. The Chocolate Library will soon include a touch screen information kiosk, where customers can learn more about their chocolate's cacao contents, ingredient sourcing and tasting notes. In addition, The Chocolate Library plans to install a mix-and-match table, where customers can create boxes of sinfully sublime sweets of their own choosing. A full slate of in-store events including chocolate tastings and wine pairings will begin later this winter. Bennett, a long-time East Village resident and a founding partner of the neighborhood's destination wine shop, Discovery Wines, is also looking to expand The Chocolate Library to other locations.

"We've only been open for two weeks and are already amazed by the reception. Chocolate is the ultimate comfort food. It's something people turn to when times are good or bad," said Bennett, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School. "We're happy to be the purveyors of a product that brings joy to people's lives every day."

The Chocolate Library is currently registered as Chocolate 101, Inc., while Bennett appeals a ruling from the New York State Department of Education's Division of Library Development about the use of the word "library" in his store's name. Due to a clause in New York Education Law 216, use of the word "library" is now regulated.

For photos, please contact Eva Dilmanian at 646.675.8550 or Follow The Chocolate Library at www.facebookcom/thechocolatelibrary and A web site will soon be posted at

Wine Glasses for the Un-Plain Jane

Lani Designs hand-painted glassware is for those who prefer bold over blah. They inspire fun times with good friends, and can turn an ordinary get together or date night with a DVD into something special!

Every single glass is painted by hand, by a real person, from memory – no stencils. They’re then dried and fired in a design studio in Philly led by president and creative director Kristy Peters. Most hand-painted glasses are mass produced overseas, or have some aspect of the manufacturing done in bulk. Not Lani. When you buy wine glasses from Lani, you are getting something beautifully handmade by artists in the USA who love what they do… and it shows in the quality.

Just like every woman adds her own personality to this world, every Lani glass is given a name because it too comes with a personality. There’s the Vivian (for the lady who tends to her blue-ribbon rosebushes but can't use a computer to save her life), the Maxine (for the woman who would remember to bring the good gin to a tailgate), and the Joy (for she who schedules her weekly pedi appts a year in advance). And dozens more. In fact, the Lani site is so enjoyable to browse through because they offer categories to choose your theme: Spring Fling, Garden Party, Let’s Get Graphic, Daring Damask, Beachy Keen and Happenin’ Holidays.

Customers can choose from Balloon Red Wine Glasses, Twisted Stem Glasses, Martini Glasses, and Champagne Glasses – as well as great gift sets. Best part: Lani glassware is scratch resistant, uses non-toxic paint, fade-proof color, and is top rack dishwasher safe. They will last!

Website is

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Sauvignon Blanc that Raises Money for Heart Research

Ehlers Estate is a unique winery because it is held in trust by the Leducq Foundation, a highly-regarded non-profit organization in Paris that has given $187 million in grants to international cardiovascular researchers in 16 countries over the last 11 years. One hundred per cent of the proceeds from the sale of Ehlers Estate wines goes back to the Leducq Foundation and funds these research grants.

Ehlers Estate is a charming 43-acre estate extending from the historic stone winery built by Bernard Ehlers in 1886. Winemaker Kevin Morrisey produces fewer than 8,000 cases of wine each year – all organically farmed, using biodynamic practices.

Morrisey describes his Sauvignon Blanc as “a very crisp, complex, terroir-driven Sauvignon Blanc, made in the classic Sancerre style – very ‘minerally.’ It’s uncluttered and doesn’t show the winemaker’s stamp – just fruit.” Morrisey only plants four acres of Sauvignon Blanc at Ehlers Estate – and because of the uncharacteristic weather in Napa Valley in 2010, he will only have 600 cases of Sauvignon Blanc to release in April, making the 2010 vintage one that will be cherished by wine enthusiasts. Ehlers Estate Sauvignon Blanc is $28/bottle and the 2009 vintage is currently available at specialty shops across the country or online at It is the ideal wine to serve at spring and summer celebrations such as Easter, Mother’s Day brunch and graduation parties.

Fresh Blueberries From Chile Recipe: Add Taste and Nutrient Boost to Traditional Cranberry Relish

Treat your family to a fabulous new twist on a classic holiday favorite. Give traditional cranberry relish a taste upgrade and nutrient boost by adding fragrant fresh blueberries to the mix

The holidays are a time to be grateful for abundance and thanks to a fresh supply of high quality blueberries from Chile, Americans now can enjoy this luscious antioxidant-rich super berry all winter long.

Make sure to make enough of this delectable tangy relish to transform your leftover turkey and ham sandwiches from mundane to marvelous. And while you're at it, spoon some relish into pretty glass jelly jars, tie a ribbon around the lids and take them around to the neighbors as a healthy homemade holiday gift.

Fresh Blueberry and Cranberry Relish
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup fresh orange juice
8 oz. fresh cranberries
1 tablespoon orange zest
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook until the sugar dissolves and the berries soften, for about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and chill. Best made in advance to let flavors blend.

Makes 12 1/4 cup servings

Nutrients per serving:
Calories 76, fat 0, cholesterol 0, sodium 0, dietary fiber 0, protein 0

Serving suggestions:
Appetizer : serve with soft creamy Brie
Lunch: add to turkey or cream cheese sandwich
Dinner: holiday side with turkey or ham
Dessert: topping for vanilla ice cream, sorbet, or frozen yogurt.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

2011 New Orleans Wine & Food Experience

Grab your fork and your corkscrew, the New Orleans Wine & Food Experience, which ranks in the Top 10 Food & Wine Destinations in the U.S. and fourth in the World according to the TripAdvisor Annual Travelers’ Choice Destination Awards, has announced plans are underway for the upcoming 2011 event. The five-day bacchanalia, which will take place May 24 – 28, features dozens of local chefs, many of whom are nationally known, and aims to place a spotlight on the region’s many indigenous ingredients. Thousands of wines and champagnes from over 175 wineries will be paired with food from more than 75 restaurants at various events throughout the extravaganza.

“The culinary power of our region is so outstanding that we want to showcase our chefs and our food for the world to see,” states incoming NOWFE President Kevin Kimball. “The Wine & Food Experience gives us the opportunity to do just that, while sharing a love of wine in our beloved city.” Each year NOWFE, a “perennial ‘Top Ten’ Wine and Food festival,” as noted in Wine Enthusiast, offers a wide variety of seminars and demonstrations hosted by local and visiting chefs, as well as world-renowned winemakers, allowing guests a rare opportunity to meet some of these industry insiders.

The 2011 event will kick off on Tuesday with the Ella Brennan Award Dinner & Live Auction, followed by wine dinners in some of New Orleans’ most notable restaurants on Wednesday, the traditional Royal Street Stroll and Vinola Tasting on Thursday, and culminating with Grand Tastings on Friday and Saturday. “NOWFE is a major tourism attraction for our city and as such we have a responsibility to host a wine and culinary experience like no other,” remarks Jamie Peckenpaugh, NOWFE’s new Executive Director. “I am excited about the programs we have planned; I believe everyone will find something to satisfy their tastes.”

Highlights of this year’s event include Chef John Folse, with renowned Chef Rick Tramonto, who will present a revolutionary take on Creole cuisine inspired by their new local venture; and special tastings from the Chianti Region presented by the Culinary School at Badia a Coltibuono.

Other featured seminars and events of the 2011 schedule include:

Effervescence Everyday: Discover world-class sparkling wines made in the Champagne method and see how they measure up.

Eat, Stay, Love: Join local chefs as they prepare culinary delights from their unique restaurants that just happen to be situated in hotels. The lovin’ is up to you.

Kindred Ingredients: Louisiana Crawfish and Rice seminar presented by Chef Donald Link (Cochon, Herbsaint, Cochon Butcher)

Honing your Craft: Forever change the way you think about serving and enjoying craft beer presented by Spiegelau & local brewmasters.

Bubbly Personalities: A comparison look at the Champagne House’s personal style and some of the Vintages they have created.

The New Orleans Wine & Food Experience is a non-profit organization. Proceeds from the 2010 event benefited the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation, The University of New Orleans, School of Hotel, Restaurant & Tourism Program, The Louisiana Restaurant Association Education Foundation’s ProStart Program, The John Folse Culinary Institute, Delgado Culinary Arts School, Cancer Crusaders, Girls First, New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts (NOCCA), Southern Animal Foundation (SAF), Coach Sean Payton’s Play It Forward Foundation, and Fore!Kids Foundation. NOWFE 2011 will be held May 24 – 28, 2011.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Eight O'Clock Coffee Gives Facebook Fans 8 Days Of Holiday Giveaways

America's favorite whole bean coffee has something special this month for its Facebook fans: 8 days of Holiday Giveaways! Starting December 8th (of course), Eight O'Clock Coffee will feature a different gift giveaway each day for 8 days. In addition to coffee-centric gifts, the giveaways will include offerings from and Omaha Steaks. For more information, visit to become a fan – and watch for details via the wall postings.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

New winery opens in Harrison County, IN

Fast becoming pegged as a popular wine tour destination, Harrison County Indiana welcomes a fifth addition to the region's existing list of wineries offering tours and tastings. New to the area, Grateful Goat Vineyard and Winery joins popular Turtle Run Winery, Best Vineyards, Scout Mountain Winery and Indian Creek Winery, just in time for the holiday season. For complete information on area wineries and tours, and to order a free visitor’s guide, travelers can log on to or call (888) 738-2137.

Located in Palmyra, IN, on West Palmyra Lake Road, owners John and Lindsay Fouts say their dream of opening a local winery was born several years ago.

“We began discussions and planning for the winery in 2003,” said John Fouts. “Once we re-located to Palmyra, we began putting the plans in to motion, planting our first acre of grapes in 2008. Then, in 2010 we planted another half acre. We plan to ultimately grow four to five acres of vineyards, " added Fouts.

Grateful Goat Vineyard and Winery is open Saturdays, noon to 8 p.m. and Sundays, 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. Private tastings are also offered by appointment. The winery focuses on producing premium quality wines in a relaxed atmosphere at affordable prices. Wine tasting is complimentary. The winery also has a small gift shop with a selection of local products including goat milk soap with specialty gourmet items.

Corydon visitors have embraced the popularity of the area's many wineries As a result, the region's wine producers launched a Winter Wine Walk, which kicked off in downtown Corydon, on Saturday, December 11. Guests are encouraged skip the mall madness and shop for unique gifts, taste and purchase wine by the bottle from Corydon's outstanding area wineries. However, wineries will offer tours, tastings and wine and other specialty items for sale well beyond the holidays, giving travelers a one-of-a-kind experience this winter.

In addition to the area’s memorable wineries, Corydon visitors enjoy a vast collection of sites and attractions, from the spectacular Marengo and Squire Boone caves, to nostalgic old-time ice cream parlors. The State Historic Site marks Corydon’s place as Indiana’s first capitol, while the Constitution Elm, a Civil War battlefield and tours of one of the nation’s oldest standing early African American schoolhouses fascinate visitors. Diverse dining and accommodations include a historic B&B, affordable modern hotels, country cafés and the world’s largest riverboat casino.

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Cook's Book Of Intense Flavors

Cooking is about creating maximum flavor. While technique is necessary for any recipe to hold its own, it is intense, rich and unexpected flavor that sets your senses and your taste buds tingling. Husband and wife cooking team Robert and Molly Krause, who have headed several successful restaurants, will share the insider secrets that got their restaurant, Krause Dining, on Food and Wine magazine’s 2008 list of “100 best" recipes, restaurants and wines.

THE COOK’S BOOK OF INTENSE FLAVORS (Fair Winds Press, October 2010, $19.99, hardback with color photos) will give the both the beginning and the advanced home chef a look inside the kitchen of the couple who is single handedly building an international food scene in Lawrence, Kansas. This one of a kind cookbook will make readers rethink the way they approach food, including:
Learning how to cook more innovatively by adding an unexpected note such cumin to a traditional flavor combination such as cinnamon and cocoa;
Cooking more intuitively by learning which flavors work together and how to balance different flavor profiles such as sweet, sour, savory, and spicy; and
Getting more excitement from cooking as they taste how flavors shift and evolve during the cooking process.
THE COOK’S BOOK OF INTENSE FLAVORS contains 101 extraordinary combinations and accompanying recipes that show how to get the most flavor out of any ingredient--whether it’s an innovative twist on a classic pairing, flavor that is over-the-top decadent, or inspiration for the fresh asparagus from the farmer’s market or the balsamic vinegar in the pantry. It is an indispensable guide to every type of flavor combination from exotic and decadent to classics made exciting and modern.

Flavor combinations include:

Tomato + Cheese + Truffle
Fig + Apple + Anchovy
Orange + Saffron + Vanilla
Chocolate + Lime + Cream
Egg + Caviar + Chervil

About the Authors
Robert Krause received training at The Culinary Institute at Hyde Park, New York. He has been an entrepreneur in the food world for over 20 years, creating menus and executing food preparation for catered events, informal sandwich shops, and upscale gourmet dining. His restaurants have been featured in “The Kansas City Star” and listed as a #11 in the 2008 Food & Wine “100 Tastes to Try” issue. He operates two restaurants where he lives in Lawrence, Kansas with his wife Molly and their three daughters.

Molly Krause graduated from the University of Kansas. She trained for pastry work under her husband Robert, is the Executive Pastry Chef for their restaurants, and teaches cooking classes. She and Robert travel frequently with their family, cooking for clients in California, New York, and Europe.

* * *
101 Surprising Flavor Combinations and Extraordinary Recipes That Excite Your Palate and Pleasure Your Senses
by Robert and Molly Krause
Fair Winds Press
October 2010
Hardback; $26.00
ISBN: 978-1-59233-432-2

NOTE: We were fortune enough to see this book. It is enjoyable and a bit unconventional in it's take. A can't go wrong for the cooking foodie in your life this holiday season!

Bengals' Terrell Owens announces nomination process to choose 81 Families to gift this Holiday season


All proceeds from the event will aid the Greater Cincinnati Foundation to help feed & gift '81' families in need this holiday season.


Terrell Owens asks families in need to submit nominations now until December 10th to or fax to 214-593-1336. Please include a contact name, telephone number, why you feel the family should be chosen and what their needs are.




Cincinnati Bengals Wide Receiver & NFL ICON Terrell Owens proudly announces his first annual ‘81 Cares’ Celebrity Bowl event benefiting the Greater Cincinnati Foundation. Each year, Terrell has made a commitment to brighten the holidays for 81 families in his current city and this year he brings his 81 Cares mission to Cincinnati! The "81 Cares Celebrity Bowl" will feature a fun-filled night of bowling, live and silent auctions, raffle prizes and contests. Terrell will be joined by fellow Cincinnati Bengals teammates, celebrity guests, star athletes and other NFL legends. All proceeds from the event will aid the Greater Cincinnati Foundation to help feed '81' families in need this holiday season.


Dhani Jones -TV show host, Bengals linebacker, Chad OchoCinco - Bengals WR, Actress & singer Adrienne Bailon

For more information regarding tickets:

Wake Up Winter with Fresh Blueberry and Orange Yogurt Parfait

Hard getting the family up and at'em during these dark cold mornings? Lure them outof their warm beds with the promise of a summer beach party breakfast in the deep of winter. Although farm fields in America are frosted over, south of the equator in Chile, it's peak growing season. That means sweet summer fruits from Chile like blueberries are hitting our markets right now. So put on some Beach Boys tunes, spritz the air with coconut-scented room fragrance, drape your summer beach towels over the backs of the chairs, place some tropical-flavored drinks in a cooler and toss together this delectable fresh blueberry parfait. Juicy ripe blueberries team up with crisp granola and creamy orange low-fat yogurt for summer-hued layers of lusciousness. It's easy, it's healthy and best of all, it's a tasty treat of summer sweetness to brighten the darkest of winter days - at breakfast time or any time.

Image courtesy of the Chilean Fresh Fruit Association. Click to download.

Chilean Fresh Blueberry and Orange Yogurt Breakfast Parfait

1 cup granola
3 5oz. low fat orange yogurt cartons
4 cups fresh blueberries
Divide and layer ingredients into four glasses, starting with granola, blueberries then yogurt. Repeat. Garnish with fresh orange zest.
Great for breakfast or an afternoon snack.

Nutrients per serving:
Calories 302, calories from fat 36, fat 4gms, saturated fat 3gms, cholesterol 9mg, sodium61mg,dietary fiber 5gms, protein 6gms
Makes 4 - 2 cup servings
For more information please visit
Handling and Storage Tips
By the time you buy Chilean fresh blueberries in your grocery store, a great deal of care has already gone into maintaining its quality, freshness, and flavor. By continuing this process of proper care and handling at home, you'll get more pleasure out of every delicious bite!

Do not wash berries until ready-to-eat.
Use berries in fruit salads, pancakes, on top of ice cream or in classic pies or muffins.

To freeze berries, place them one layer deep on sheet pans, freeze, then place in freezer containers.

Win a cocktail reception at Morton's Cincinnati

Whether you're a food and wine aficionado or just love a good party, Morton's is the ultimate hotspot to unwind with good friends, appetizers and cocktails after the hectic holiday season.

Morton’s The Steakhouse Cincinnati is pleased to announce it is hosting a post-holiday contest, offering one lucky winner a complimentary, post-holiday cocktail reception for 10 people in Morton's bar. The reception includes several appetizers, including Smoked Salmon Pizza, Petite Filet Mignon Sandwiches and Crab Cake BLTs, plus one drink for each guest from a selected list.

The register-to-win contest begins today, Monday, December 6, and ends Friday, December 31. One winner from each Morton’s location will be randomly selected and notified during the week of January 10, 2011.

Guests can register to win at Morton's or directly at
Morton’s The Steakhouse is located at 441 Vine Street. Dinner is served from 5:30 p.m. until 11 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 5 p.m. until 10 p.m. on Sundays. For more information and reservations, please call 513-621-3111.

Sexy Scent of Food

This Valentine’s Day, Lavanila presents The Healthy Fragrance in Vanilla Passion Fruit. Infused with natural aphrodisiacs, this sensual aroma is a crisp, tropical explosion of Passion Fruit, Guava and Peach Nectar steeped in warm base of sandalwood and Madagascar vanilla.

Created by master natural perfumers and backed by research, this love-attracting scent is uniquely infused with a romantic blend of powerful aphrodisiacs prized for their seductive properties:

Passion Fruit Oil: This round, dark purple fruit is native to Southern Brazil. With as many as 250 seeds inside, they are pressed to produce a refreshingly fragrant oil.

Aphrodisiac Oils (Blue Lotus, Clary Sage and Juniper Berry): Love-Attracting.
Blue Lotus: Extracted from the Egyptian Blue Lotus flower, this oil promotes balance between the mind, body, and soul, which can arouse the basic sexual instinct.

Clary Sage: A few exclusive oils can either imitate or stimulate a sexual hormone or mimic a human sexual odor. Extracted from an ancient European plant, the most famous of these is Clary Sage, which acts as an estrogen balancer for women.
Juniper Berry: Derived from the ripe berry of the juniper plant, this spicy and warm aroma creates the sensation of heat, increasing the chemicals that lead to sexual attraction.

Natural Technology: Long-Lasting. Replaces harmful phthalates with breakthrough natural science that uses marine derived molecules to lock in fragrance and anti-oxidants.

Goji Berries: Nourishes & Protects. An antioxidant-rich berry that is loaded with beta-carotene & Vitamins C, E, B1, B2, and B6.
Kakadu Plum: Nourishes & Conditions. An antioxidant-rich fruit with a Vitamin C concentration 500 times that of an orange by weight.

WHY IT’S HEALTHY: Unlike traditional fragrances, The Healthy Fragrance is made of 100% natural ingredients. Free of chemically laden alcohol, petrochemicals and phthalates, Lavanila uses timeless blends of pure essential oils, active botanicals and vita-rich technology for long-lasting, anti-oxidant rich fragrances bursting with beauty benefits.

WHAT IT COSTS: 1.7 oz - $58; 1oz - $39

WHERE TO FIND IT: Sephora,, and

Friday, December 3, 2010

Expensive Taste Without The Expensive Price, Exclusiv Vodca Offers Exclusive Drink Recipes For The Holidays

Just in time for the holidays, the mixologists at Exclusiv Vodca - the vodka that’s made for royalty - have some tasty cocktail recipes that are sure to spice up your holidays and make them exclusively yours with an expensive taste without the expensive price, featuring seasonal ingredients such as apple cider, egg nog, cinnamon and caramel sauce.

Perfectly fitting for the holidays and sure to keep you warm is the Exclusiv Hot Cider. This delightfully delicious drink includes Hot Apple Cider (or Apple Juice), Buttershots Liqueur or Monin Caramel Syrup, and ground cinnamon topped with whipped cream and caramel sauce. Recommended to be served in a glass coffee mug.

An Exclusiv twist on everyone’s favorite holiday drink, the Exclusiv Egg Nog is sure to be a hit at your holiday gathering with B&B (Benedictine and Brandy), white crème de cacoa, very cold Egg Nog and garnished with a cinnamon stick.

Shake and pour Bailey’s, pear puree, cinnamon schnapps and a dash of honey into a martini glass, decorated with cinnamon and sugar on the room, and you’ll get the sweet taste of the Spiced Pear great for serving at holiday parties or New Year’s Eve parties.

The Dirty Russian is an old Russian favorite. Historically, vodka was consumed in Russia with pickled veggies called “zah-koos-kah” (food-casher). Ask any Russian and they will tell you that once or twice after a big party, they made themselves a drink with pickle brine instead of a Bloody Mary. This holiday season, the folks at Exclusiv Vodca suggest three different takes on the Dirty Russian to deal with the excesses of the season – Exclusiv Russian Gibson with dill pickle juice or brine, dry Vermouth and garnished with a pickle and onion skewer; and the Exclusiv Dirty Russian Martini with olive juice.

Exclusiv Citrus –Cranberry Punch, which can be made as a single drink served in a champagne flute or as a punch bowl, making it perfect for holiday and New Year’s Eve parties, with Limoncello, cranberry juice, and Ginger Ale.

The Exclusiv Southern Shore Iced Tea is sure to give your holiday party and New Year’s Eve party guests an extra kick with Blue Curaco, 5 hour energy bottle, a splash of Sour and a splash of cranberry juice, garnished in a pint glass with a lemon wedge.

From the gentle rolling wheat fields of Moldova, near the shores of the Black Sea, comes an escape reminiscent of icy mountain tops and crystal clear streams. What was once only for royalty and members of high society can now also be exclusively yours in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Florida. Escape there this holiday season with a special holiday mail-in rebate from Exclusiv Vodca with $5 off of 1.75l and $3 of 1l or 750ml through January 2011.

With its Russian heritage gifting the highest standards for the production of vodka, Exclusiv Vodca is truly a world-class vodka. This luxurious tasting spirit is made with only the highest quality winter wheat and the finest distilling process, giving it a sweeter, more polished taste without polishing techniques, just like the members of high society preferred over the course of history.

Described as, ”Clear. Subtle, creamy mocha aromas and flavors with hints of dried cherries and spice and a long, delicate cream and powdered sugar fade. Very smooth, tasty, and appealing,” it’s an expensive taste without the expensive price. Exclusiv Vodca is affordably priced at $20 for 1.75 liters - perfect for consumers who value quality and taste, and their wallet.

All recipes are created by Daniel Seelbinder for Exclusiv Vodca.

Exclusiv Hot Holiday Cider

1 1/2 oz Exclusiv Vodca
4 oz Hot Apple Cider or Apple Juice
1/2 oz Buttershots Liqueur or Monin Caramel Syrup
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Garnish with whipped cream and caramel sauce
Serve in a glass coffee mug

Exclusiv Egg Nog

1 1/2 oz Exclusiv Vodca
3/4 oz B & B
1/2 oz white creme de cacoa
3 oz Egg Nog (very cold)
Garnish with a cinnamon stick
SNIFTER with a 2-5 cubes of Ice

Spiced Pear

2 oz Exclusiv Vodca
1 oz Bailey’s
1/2 oz pear puree
1/4 oz cinnamon schnapps
Dash of honey
Shake and pour in a martini glass with a sugar/cinnamon rim

Exclusiv Russian Gibson

3 oz Exclusiv Vodca
3/4 oz Claussen dill pickle Juice/Brine ( I think people will accept pickle juice over pickle brine)
1/4 oz Dry Vermouth
Garnish with a pickle and onion skewer

Exclusiv Dirty Russian Martini

3 oz Exclusiv Vodca
1/2 oz Claussen dill pickle Juice/Brine
1/2 oz Olive Juice
1/4 oz Dry Vermouth
Garnish with a pickle and olive skewer

Exclusiv Citrus-Cranberry Punch

1 oz Exclusiv Citrus Vodca
1/2 oz Limoncello
1 oz cranberry juice
Fill with Ginger Ale
Serve in a champagne flute or punch bowl

Exclusiv Southern Shore Iced Tea

3 oz Exclusiv Vodka (classic or citrus)
1 oz Blue Curacao
1 oz 5 hour energy berry (half bottle)
Splash Sour
Splash cranberry juice
Lemon wedge
Serve in a pint glass

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Police & Firefighters offered gift from Cincinnati Restaurant: “1/2 off with a badge”

Amidst word regarding the budget crisis in the City of Cincinnati, proposed layoffs in the police and fire departments have Mainstay Rock Bar tapping into their holiday spirit.

Mainstay Rock Bar, located in downtown Cincinnati is offering ‘those with a badge’ special solace in the midst of the holiday season- offering free food on Mondays and ½ off food for all police officers and firefighters for the remainder of the year, when they ‘show their badge’. (For those in the industry directly affected with a layoff the discount will be extended for a period of 45 days, starting today.)

“The struggles the firemen are facing hit very close to home for me. My father-in-law, brother-in-law, and other family members are all Kentucky firemen. This is just our (Mainstay’s) way to say we support you,” commented Travis French, Partner at Mainstay.

Cuts in the amounts of $16 million dollars on behalf of the police department and $11 million for the fire department are proposed amidst the budget crises for the City of Cincinnati fiscal 2011 year.

Josh Heuser also a Partner commented, “My wish is that more restaurants will see this as a way to show thanks to these courageous individuals who continually hit the ground running to protect our community.”

Restaurants wishing to participate in ‘1/2 off with a badge’ can post inquiries on the Mainstay Rock Bar Facebook page – a Mainstay representative will follow up accordingly.

Go to:!/mainstayrockbarcincinnati

Mainstay Rock Bar is located at 301 West 5th Street, Cincinnati OH 45202. Hours of operation Monday – Friday: 4 p.m. – 2 a.m., Saturday & Sunday 12 p.m. – 2 a.m. For more information please go to:

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Bite-Sized Morsels and Tasty Tidbits from the Restaurants at The Forum Shops at Caesars in Las Vegas

The Forum Shops at Caesars has long been distinguished for its eclectic collection of restaurants and unique eating options in addition to its plentiful roster of world-renowned retailers from around the world. With 15 distinct experiences to choose from, dining at The Forum Shops is something to be thankful for this November.

Locals and Las Vegas visitors rejoice this holiday season. Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab has been long considered a holiday favorite amongst both, a rare feat in a city with dozens and dozens of dining options. This holiday season, find out what all of the talk is about. Joe’s Stone Crab is keeping to tradition by offering its holiday pies. For more than 90 years, Joe’s homemade pies have been a hit. Joe’s “Pies for the Holidays” include Key Lime, Sweet Potato Pecan, Chocolate Fudge, Banana Cream Pie with Foster Sauce, Pumpkin Chiffon, Old-Fashioned Apple, Boston Crème, Havana Dream, Peanut Butter Pie with Hot Fudge and Coconut Crème. All pies are $29.95 and feed eight to 12 people.*

For more information or place a reservation or order, call (702) 792-9222.

*Orders must be received 24 hours in advance of pick-up as they are baked to ensure quality and freshness.

BOA Steakhouse
BOA Steakhouse retains the finer qualities of the traditional American steakhouse, while boldly repackaging the concept with a sleek, modern design and a contemporary menu. Its menu celebrates twists on classics and more than one dozen ways to dress the signature prime steaks.

Hours: Mon. through Thurs., 12 p.m. to 10 p.m., Fri. through Sat., 12 p.m. to 11:30 p.m., Sun. 12 to 10 p.m.
Reservations: (702) 733-7373

The Cheesecake Factory
For more than 30 years The Cheesecake Factory has served more than just delicious food and cheesecakes, they helped their guests share lasting memories with family and friends. The Cheesecake Factory menu boasts more than 200 menu selections made fresh from scratch each day including appetizers, pastas, seafood, steaks, salads, sandwiches and more.

Hours: Mon. through Thurs., 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Fri. through Sat., 10 a.m. to 12:30 a.m., Sun. 10 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.
Reservations: (702) 792-6888

Il Mulino New York
For more than 20 years, chefs and founders Fernando and Gino Masci have delighted guests and gourmands from around the world with the vibrant flavors of Italian cuisine and an absolute devotion to exemplary service. Il Mulino reflects the infectious enthusiasm and joy the Mascis take in bringing the Italian tradition of fine food and hospitality to your table. Simple, straightforward, wholesome and always fresh – it’s the Il Mulino tradition.

Hours: Lunch - Mon. through Sat., 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.; Dinner – Mon. through Wed., 5 to 10:30 p.m., Thurs. through Sat., 5 to 11 p.m.
Reservations: (702) 492-6000

Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab
Joe's serves freshly cracked Florida stone crab claws with its signature creamy mustard sauce; the menu also showcases fresh seafood flown in daily from around the world, including seasonal specialties such as Madagascar shrimp, Nantucket Cape scallops and fresh Alaskan king crab and Copper River salmon. A meal at Joe's would not be complete without a slice of its world-famous signature key lime pie.

Hours: Sun. through Thurs., 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Fri. and Sat., 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Reservations: (702) 792-9222

La Salsa Cantina
The Southwest is famous for its Mexican restaurants, and La Salsa Cantina is superb, serving freshly-prepared, gourmet Mexican food. Also try the award-winning margaritas, featuring the original La Salsa Margarita by the Yard.

Hours: Mon. through Thurs., 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Fri. through Sat., 11 a.m. to 12 a.m., Sun., 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Reservations: (702) 735-8226

Max Brenner, Chocolate by The Bald Man
Chocolate is not just about taste; it also represents romance, sensuality and decadence. A worldwide phenomenon with a menu primarily made from chocolate, the brand new Max Brenner, Chocolate by the Bald Man recently debuted. Perfectly situated across from what will be North America’s largest H&M this winter, Max Brenner at The Forum Shops also holds the distinction of being the largest with two levels consisting of 9,400 square feet.

Hours: Sun. through Thurs., 10 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., Fri. and Sat., 10 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.
Reservations: (702) 462-8790

Planet Hollywood
It is the dining experience inspired by the glamour and excitement of the big screen. Planet Hollywood offers an extensive Hollywood memorabilia collection featuring props from blockbuster movies and classic TV shows, while the diverse menu offers guests’ favorites. Exotic salads and award-winning burgers are only a few of the many signature flavors guests find, in addition to taking home a piece of Hollywood with the latest fashions and collectible souvenir gifts.

Hours: Sun. through Thurs., 9 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., Fri. through Sat., 9 a.m. to 12 a.m.
Reservations: (702) 791-7827

Acknowledged as the spark that ignited the Las Vegas culinary phenomenon, Wolfgang Puck’s Spago is the preeminent trendsetter in cuisine, service and style, synonymous with fine food and celebrity clientele. Executive Chef Eric Klein’s menu features seasonal American cuisine with influences from around the world and trademark Wolfgang Puck touches.

Hours: Mon. through Thurs., 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Fri. and Sat., 11 a.m. to 12 a.m., Sun., 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Reservations: (702) 369-6300

Sushi Roku
Sushi Roku is known for its fine contemporary sushi served in a sensual, sophisticated environment, with a menu that offers traditional sushi and sashimi with a splash of California innovation.

Hours: Sun. through Thurs., 12 p.m. to 10 p.m., Fri. and Sat., 12 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Reservations: (702) 733-7373

The Palm - Las Vegas
For over 80 years, The Palm has been serving USDA Prime Aged Steaks, Jumbo Nova Scotia Lobsters, the freshest available Palm Fish and their own heritage Italian cuisine in a remarkable atmosphere of warm, genuine hospitality. The Palm is more than a restaurant… it’s a unique experience. Elegant private dining rooms are available for all special events.

Hours: Mon-Sun: 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Reservations: (702) 732-7256

Trevi Italian Restaurant
Trevi Italian Restaurant is named after the most famous fountain in the world located in Italy. Trevi creates an Italian Brasserie that transports guests to the piazzas and streets of Rome. The restaurant features café dining with elaborate street lamps surrounding a fountain and walk-up gelato/espresso bar.

Hours: Mon. through Thurs., 11 a.m. to 12 a.m., Fri. and Sat., 11 a.m. to 1 a.m., Sun., 11 a.m. to 12 a.m.
Reservations: (702) 735-4663

Every month, The Forum Shops at Caesars in Las Vegas sends the latest trends and happenings, the stories behind the dining collection found only at this world-renowned shopping venue. Please let us know if you have contacts you’d like to add to our monthly distribution list.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Bernard Foods Introduces Sans Sucre Baking Mixes

Bernard Food Industries recently introduced its new line of naturally sweetened, sugar-free or no sugar added baking mixes to Whole Foods Market® in the Mid-Atlantic and Florida regions. Sans Sucre, meaning "sugar free" in French, is now available in these retail stores.

"Over the course of our 60+ year history, we have been dedicated to providing healthy eating options. The Sans Sucre baking mix line is our first line of naturally sweetened products," says Steven Bernard, chief executive officer of Bernard Food Industries. "We are excited to introduce the products to Florida and the Mid-Atlantic states."

By using Stevia, an all-natural sweetener, Sans Sucre is able to produce baking mixes that have great taste and are naturally sweetened without additional sugar. According to the Mintel Sugar-Free Foods Survey, 24 percent of Americans watch their sugar intake. As this increasing number of people is staying away from processed foods that contain high amounts of sugar, preservatives and artificial ingredients, Sans Sucre is a great option for healthy eaters, diabetics and dieters alike.

Along with being naturally sweetened, the Sans Sucre baking mixes are sugar-free or no sugar added, low fat, no cholesterol, lower in calories and lower in sodium. These nutritional facts appeal to the 90 percent of adults that consume low calorie or reduced fat foods on a regular basis, according to the Calorie Control Council.

The Sans Sucre baking mix line includes: Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake, Milk Chocolate Brownie, Classic Blondie Brownie and Chocolate Fudge Brownie. They are available for a suggested retail price of $3.99 - $4.49.

Milk Chocolate Brownie: Milk Chocolate Brownie mix is made with cocoa. The mix is 130 calories per serving with low fat, no cholesterol and 25 grams of carbohydrates.

Chocolate Fudge Brownie: Chocolate Fudge Brownie mix is made with cocoa, and has a rich chocolate taste. The mix has 130 calories per serving with low fat, no cholesterol and 25 grams of carbohydrates.

In addition to being healthy, Sans Sucre baking mixes are easy to prepare. Calling for minimal ingredients, they require only vegetable oil and water. Sans Sucre baking mixes can be created with ingredients from most everyday pantries, making them a quick, convenient and easy-to-bake treat.

About Sans Sucre Baking Mixes
Sans Sucre is the first line of baking mixes from foodservice industry specialists, Bernard Food Industries, Inc that are flavored with Stevia, an all-natural sweetener. In addition, they are sugar-free or no sugar added, low fat, no cholesterol, lower in calories and lower in sodium. For more information visit: www.sanssucrefoodscom.

About Bernard Food Industries
Since 1947, Bernard Food Industries, Inc. has been dedicated to providing solutions to the foodservice industry. Family owned and operated by the Bernard family, Bernard Food Industries, Inc. has 1,000 specialty food products, including beverages, soups, seasonings, sauces, baking mixes, and more. Of those products, 350 are dietary in nature. For more information visit: or

Macaron Trend Carries into Holiday Season

From Gossip Girl to gourmet chefs to casual get-togethers, the French macaron (not to be confused with its American counterpart, the “macaroon”) is seemingly everywhere these days.

Cooks can’t get enough of the sweet, so much so that it’s supplanted the trendy treat of years past, the humble cupcake. And now that the spotlight is shining brightly on the pastry, fresh takes are needed to keep its newly found status from going stale.

Enter all-natural honey. One of the sweetener’s specialties is serving as the perfect secret ingredient, something that distinguishes a recipe but still keeps taste buds guessing. With honey’s help, the macaron becomes a delectable yet unexpected holiday treat.

The Mango Lime Buttercream recipe below (and viewable online here) from the National Honey Board can serve as the perfect filling for a beginning macaron maker. Simply sandwich meringue cookies around it and you’re good to go.

Bon appétit!

Mango Lime Buttercream Frosting

Makes 12-14 servings

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup ripe mango, puréed
Zest and juice (1/4 cup) of one lime
2 tablespoons Wildflower honey*
4 to 5 cups powdered sugar
In a mixing bowl, cream butter until light and fluffy. Add mango purée, lime zest and juice, and honey; mix well. Add powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, until desired spreading consistency. *Any mild-flavored honey such as Clover may be used

Cacique’s Authentic Recipe for Winter Enchiladas Featured by Chef Aarón Sánchez

Food Network Celebrity Chef Aarón Sánchez delighted Today Show fans when he used Cacique’s authentic Hispanic ingredients to put a seasonal spin on traditional enchiladas to create Winter Enchiladas for viewers. Cacique® has been making authentic Hispanic cheeses, creams and chorizos for nearly 40 years with high quality ingredients and traditional flavors.

Chef Aarón Sánchez’s sweet and savory tasting enchiladas consisted of butternut squash, zesty chorizo and cinnamon-spiced crema that were made using Cacique’s fresh Crema Mexicana, Queso Quesadilla and Chorizo. Cacique’s authentic products will make all the difference in your favorite Mexican dishes.

Get a copy of the Winter Enchiladas recipe at

Watch Chef Aarón Sánchez preparing Winter Enchiladas at

“To get the most authentic taste when making traditional Hispanic dishes, Cacique’s products are the first step to adding that touch of authenticity that conventional pre-shredded Mexican blend cheeses cannot,” says Food Network Celebrity Chef Aarón Sánchez. “What makes this recipe stand apart from other enchilada dishes are the authentic flavors you get from the buttery sweet richness of the Crema Mexicana, the nutty and buttery flavor of Queso Quesadilla – a beautiful melting cheese, and the traditional spicy zest of Chorizo.”

Learn More About the Ingredients
The first step in creating traditional Hispanic dishes is to start with authentic ingredients. Chef Sanchez says, “There is no substitute for authentic ingredients.” Here is a quick overview of the ingredients included in the Winter Enchiladas recipe.

-Cacique Crema Mexicana: A fresh Grade A table cream that offers a mild and silky, fresh milk flavor. Pour over sweet and savory dishes to add richness to the dish.

-Cacique Queso Quesadilla: An all-natural cheese with a delicious, buttery flavor made with part skim Grade A milk. Excellent melting cheese that is ideal in quesadillas, pressed sandwiches or as a stand-alone snack.

-Cacique Beef or Pork Chorizo: Combines a traditional blend of spices and ground beef or pork to create a robust flavor with a crumbly texture. Use as a strong flavor source in any dish or as a topping or dressing for an entree.

To get more recipes ideas, visit to see Chef Aarón Sánchez’s Cacique-inspired recipes or other seasonal recipes to adorn your holiday table.

To learn more about Cacique and their family of products, please go to
Cacique products are available at leading national retailers such as Kroger, Safeway, WalMart and HEB and Hispanic specialty retailers such as Fiesta, Food 4 Less, Northgate, Mi Pueblo, Pete’s Fine Foods, Sedanos, Superior Warehouse and Vallarta.

For news updates, information and special offers, follow the Cacique on Twitter @Cacique_USA and become a fan at Facebook at

About Cacique
For nearly four decades, authenticity, integrity, family pride and tradition have made Cacique the largest Hispanic cheese brand in the U.S.

Cacique has combined old-world traditions with new world technologies into the Cacique family of products, which includes fresh and aged traditional cheeses, creams, chorizos and beverages to provide customers with high quality, authentic products made with traditional ingredients they have come to know and enjoy.

For more information about Cacique’s authentic line of natural Hispanic products, please visit or call (800) 521-6987 or (626) 937-3505.

About Chef Aarón Sánchez
Aarón Sánchez is the co-star of Food Network’s exciting new series, Chefs vs. City and is the owner and executive chef of restaurants Paladar and Centrico, both located in New York City. The son of celebrated Mexican cooking authority Zarela Martinez, Aarón’s passion, commitment and skills have placed him among the country’s leading contemporary Latin Chefs.

Airline Snack & Food Survey with Ratings

According to Airline Transportation Association, there will between nearly 24 million passengers traveling over this Thanksgiving season. Knowing what are the ‘best’ and ‘worst’ choices is a valuable tool for any traveler, so once again rated the best ‘Calorie Bargains’ and “Calorie Rip-offs” at 35,000 feet. issued the 2010 Airline Food Survey rating foods for eight airlines. The survey assigned a “Health Score” (5 stars = highest rate, 1 star = lowest) based on snack/on-board food service offerings, number of healthy offerings, airline cooperation, fruit and vegetable offerings, and improvements. The survey includes health ratings, cost, comments, food offerings, calories, and exercise equivalents.

“This year United provided the ‘healthiest" choices in the sky, while Continental had a fall from grace, US Airways received the lowest rating, and Virgin America and Delta were the least cooperative (and also received a low health rating),” says Charles Stuart Platkin, PhD, MPH, public health advocate, editor of and visiting assistant professor at CUNY School of Public Health at Hunter College.

Below are the surveyed airlines’ “Health Scores” (Health Score: 5 stars = highest rating, 1 star = lowest). For full survey resultsincluding full listings of the snack/on-board food, comments, ratings, cost, calories, exercise equivalents, and tips go to Annual Airline Snacking and Onboard Food Survey with Health Ratings for 2010

United Airlines (800-864-8331,

Cooperation in Providing Nutritional Information:Very helpful.

Health Score: (****)

· Best Bet: On flights longer than two hours go for the Tapas; it has some great foods, including almonds, olives, hummus and bruschetta – nice, and guess what? It's their top-selling snack box. The Lite is also very good and balanced at only 430 calories. For flights longer than three hours, United has a plethora of choices, but I really like the Turkey sandwich at 600 calories including the sauce and chips -- skip those if you want to save the calories. (It’s also their best-selling freshly prepared snack box.) The Chicken Caesar Salad and the Fruit Tray are also good choices. All the meals are served with dressing on the side, so try to use only half. As far as the individual snacks are concerned, wow, those are some pretty high-calorie items! For breakfast, your best bet is the Smoothie or the Yogurt Parfait -- nice and healthy. Or you can have the Ham and Swiss Croissant -- it's not too high in calories. Skip the Continental Breakfast -- at 783 calories it's a bad start to your day.

JetBlue Airways (800-538-2583,

Cooperation in Providing Nutritional Information:Very helpful. They're always nice and cooperative.

Health Score: (*** 1/4)

Best Bet: If you’re really hungry, try the nuts. They have protein and good fat and will satisfy you. Eat them one at a time. The animal crackers are OK but not very nutritious. Try to stick with no more than one snack. Just because they offer more doesn’t mean you have to take them, especially if you’re not hungry. In terms of the meal boxes, the Shape Up is the clear winner -- pick that over all the others.

American Airlines (817-963-1234,

Cooperation in Providing Nutritional Information:Very helpful.

Health Score: (*** 1/8)

Best Bet: Your best bet is the Cheese & Cracker Snack Tray. Just skip the cracker packages. The Premium Nut Blend is a strong nutrition choice, but make sure to split it with at least two other people. If you're traveling alone and don’t have a lot of willpower, take a third of the nuts and give the rest back to the flight attendant. Nuts are very high in calories, but the remaining choices don’t offer much in terms of nutrition, and they’re just too high in calories. If you're on a longer flight, the Boston Market Chicken Caesar Salad with chips and dressing is a pretty good meal choice. Also, it's nice that the dressing is on the side (use it sparingly). Make sure you split the Boston Market Deli Chicken Pesto and the Boston Market Turkey Carver -- they are way too many calories for one person.

Delta Air Lines (404-773-0305,

Cooperation in Providing Nutritional Information:Not helpful at all -- I had to contact them repeatedly -- they are back to their old ways.

Health Score:(***) Delta's individual snack choices are not very good, but their meal choices on longer flights are reasonably healthy. Still, they can do much better.

Best Bet:Of the breakfast options (on flights of 3 ½ hours or more) your best bet is the Breakfast Snack, which has light yogurt and a fresh banana. In terms of snack boxes, the Travel Treat is a good option because of the tuna and the raisins, and it's also low in calories. Delta also offers a fruit and cheese plate that’s available for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The cheese is very high in calories, but it’s still a nice option if you skip the crackers; at least you're getting some nutritional benefit from what you're eating. Skip the turkey, egg salad and Canadian bacon croissant at all costs. For lunch/dinner options, there is the veggies and ranch -- nice, low in calories, but watch that ranch dressing! Also, I don't think this will be very filling. The roast beef (eastbound) and turkey sliders (westbound) are both high in calories.

Continental Airlines(800.523.3273,

Cooperation in Providing Nutritional Information:Helpful.

Health Score: (** 1/2)

Best Bet: In terms of snacks, if you have a family of five or six (not very likely) and wanted to split the almonds, it’s really the only snack choice that has real nutritional value. You should avoid the chips and pretzels, and the beef jerky is very high in sodium. That doesn't leave too many snack options. All the snack packs are very high in calories. I realize they're meant to be shared, but even so, there is no one standout among them. There are elements in each that are OK; however, if I had to choose, the Savory is probably the best -- just watch that fruit-and-nut mix. In terms of meals, for breakfast, the yogurt is not too bad. For lunch or dinner, the Grilled Chicken Spinach Salad is the obvious best choice so long as you watch the dressing -- that could put it over the top. The fruit-and-cheese plate is not bad if it's a meal, not just a snack, and the same for the other choices except for the burger. Also, pass on the dessert: It’s not worth it.

Southwest Airlines (214-792-4223,

Cooperation in Providing Nutritional Information: Very helpful, really very nice people.

Health Score:(**)

Best Bet: Go for the nuts and skip the pretzels and other items.

Virgin America (877-359-8474,

Cooperation in Providing Nutritional Information: Horrible. This is the second year in a row that Virgin America believes they don’t need to provide the information almost every restaurant and food product must offer to customers.

Health Score:(**)

Best Bet: In terms of snacks, the PopChips and yumBar are low-calorie choices; the others are high in calories and not good choices. Virgin offers a wide variety of meals, but the focus is not necessarily on health and calories. The chicken sandwich appears to be your best bet. For snack boxes, go with the Veggies and Hummus or the Protein Meal.

US Airways (480-693-0800,

Cooperation in Providing Nutritional Information: Dreadful -- it's a tossup between Virgin and US Airways for least cooperation, and Delta is a close third. It was a real struggle getting any information whatsoever.

Health Score:(*3/4)

Best Bet: The CafePlus is not terrible because at the very least you get the protein from the tuna, and it's low in calories. Maybe you can get rid of the cookies (give them to the flight attendant as a gift). Not much else. The Breakfast box is very high in calories and offers little in terms of nutrition.

Diet Detective Tips on Healthy Air Travel.
Even if you ate before you left home, you are still going to get hungry. We often underestimate the amount of time a trip can take. A two-hour flight could mean four or five hours of travel. Keep in mind that you can take most foods through security, but you need to check the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) for the latest rules about carrying on food and water:
Here are some ideas for snacks you can bring or buy in the airport:

- Water: Buy it after the security checkpoint to take onboard. Dehydration can cause or exacerbate hunger, jet lag and fatigue.

- Cereal: Kashi, Shredded Wheat or other low calorie cereals. Look for portable, low-calorie choices, under 120 calories per cup. You can also look for cereal in a cup--portion controlled 1.5-ounce packs that are easy to store and easy to use.

- Fruit and salads: Stick with fruits like apples and oranges that can withstand some rough treatment. You can even bring a banana if you put it in a container such as a banana saver ( Grapes or almost any other fruit can be carried in a plastic container. Also, they often sell cut up fruit or salads in the airport. They’re a bit more expensive than bringing your own, but at least they’re healthy alternatives to what is served on board.

- Energy bars: Although they tend to be high in calories and fat, they are generally better than a slice of pizza or a candy bar at the airport. Choose Larabars; they have nothing but healthy ingredients.

- Frozen VitaTops:They're healthy, low calorie, and by the time you’re ready to eat one, it will be defrosted and taste fresh. (

- Nonfat yogurt: Yogurt is a great portable snack. You can purchase it after you go through security.

- Sandwiches: Pre-cut them into portion-controlled sections so you can pull them out at different times during the trip without making a mess. Chicken, turkey, cold cuts and cheese (on 100 percent whole-wheat bread) are all great options for sandwiches on the go.

- Soy chips and PopChips:Yet another portable, low-cal, high-fiber snack. (,

- Peel-and-eat tuna and salmon cups: Chicken of the Sea makes these easy-to-open cups that give you a quick protein source. With no draining required, this wild-caught tuna or salmon is perfect for on-the-go lunches and snacks.

- Nuts: They're a good source of protein, and they help fend off hunger. Portion them into 1-ounce bags (about 160 calories each).

- Dried or freeze-dried fruit and vegetable snacks:Eat dried fruit in moderation; it's high in calories. (e.g.,,,

- All Natural Fruit Roll Ups (no sugar added).Check out Stretch Island Fruit Company's Original Fruit Strips, FruitaBü and Smoooshed Fruit Rolls (

- Whole Wheat Crackers. Make sure to get 100 percent whole-wheat crackers such as Ak Mak (, Dr. Kracker (, Mr. Krispers (

- Beef jerky: Especially if you're a low-carb fan, but not if you're watching your sodium.

About The Diet Detective

· Charles Stuart Platkin, Ph.D., M.P.H., The Diet Detective, is one of the country's leading nutrition and public health advocates, whose syndicated health, nutrition and fitness column, the Diet Detective appears in more than 100 daily newspapers nationally, including the Honolulu Advertiser, and the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. Platkin is the host of WE tv's series, I Want To Save Your Life. Platkin is also the founder of, (an Everyday Health / Waterfront Media License). Dr. Platkin is an assistant professor (visiting) at the CUNY School of Public Health at Hunter College in New York City.

He is a member of the American Society for Nutritional Sciences, the American Obesity Association, Society for Public Health Education, Society for Nutrition Education, The American Public Health Association, Sigma Xi (Scientific Research Society), the Delta Omega Honorary Society in Public Health and the American Council on Exercise. He received his undergraduate degree from Cornell University, a law degree from Fordham University, a Masters of Public Health from Florida International University, and a Ph.D. in Public Health from Florida International University.

Platkin is the author of five books. His first book, "Breaking the Pattern" was a bestseller in hardcover; it has been used by addiction clinics to assist patients with resolving drug and alcohol-related issues and more than 20 universities around the country as a text to teach behavioral change techniques to nutrition and dietetic counseling students. His latest books are The Diet Detective's Count Down (Simon and Schuster, 2007) and The Diet Detective's Calorie Bargain Bible (Simon and Schuster, 2008). Currently, he is working on his sixth book called The Diet Detective's All American Dietto be published by Rodale ( in January 2012.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

New California Strawberry iPhone App

The California Strawberry Commission's free Strawberries iPhone app just hit the App Store!

It features over 100 strawberry recipes from some of the most popular food bloggers and nutrition tips from top dietitians around the globe.

"Strawberries" features:
- 100 sweet and savory recipes, categorized by dish type
- Ingredients, preparation and photos
- Dozens of "kid-friendly" recipes
- Anytime/anywhere shopping lists
- Bonus tips from acclaimed author and "guyatitian," Dave Grotto
- Ability to easily share recipes and tips
- Links to top food bloggers and dietitians

Bitter Food = Bitter Guest: Choose Thanksgiving Menu Wisely

It’s that time of year again: turkey, stuffing, and gravy! As you prepare your Thanksgiving meal for family and friends, heed this warning from an upcoming article in Psychological Science: The taste of the food and drinks that you serve your guests may impact their moral judgments of you in more ways than one.

Psychological scientist Kendall J. Eskine and coauthors from the University of New York noted that several studies have linked physical disgust to moral disgust, but no study has explored morality in conjunction with taste. In their experiment, students drank either a sweet (Minute Maid Berry Punch), bitter (Swedish Bitters), or control (water) beverage. The volunteers then rated a variety of moral transgressions and filled out additional information, including their political ideology.

The results showed that taste perception significantly affected the study participants’ moral judgments — physical disgust, induced by a bitter taste, elicited feelings of moral disgust. This effect was more pronounced in participants with politically conservative views than in participants with liberal views. Taken together, these findings suggest that embodied gustatory experiences may impact moral processing more than previously thought.

So if you would like to avoid being judged for overindulging (and other mild transgressions) this Thanksgiving, be sure to avoid serving any bitter-tasting food and drink (avoid the Guinness, radishes and lemons), and serve plenty of sweets!


The APS journal Psychological Science is the highest ranked empirical journal in psychology.

Hibiki Toast- Japanese Twist on a Champagne Toast

With the chill in the air and the holidays fast approaching, it’s time to start thinking about what cocktails to serve this holiday season. This year, try the road less traveled with a cocktail from the East. It wasn’t long ago that Sake was the only well known spirit from Japan. But now, the rest of the world is becoming aware of Japan’s remarkable prowess with whisky as Suntory’s Yamazaki and Hibiki brands catch on with aficionados. The whiskies are delicious neat and on the rocks – and especially in stylish cocktails.

Now, in-the-know Japanese women are popularizing a unique twist on the traditional holiday champagne toast: Hibiki whisky and sparkling water served in a flute.

Hibiki Toast
1. Prepare in wide-mouthed glass to open aroma or champagne flute
2. Put 2 or 3 ice cubes
3. Pour Suntory Hibiki 12-year-old
4. Pour cold Perrier softly or sparkling water
(Hibiki : Perrier = 1 : 3)
5. Stir with muddler once lengthways

Hibiki 12 year old blended whisky, combine several unique qualities to achieve worldwide acclaim in the realm of Japanese Whisky. Hibiki blended whisky uses a signature blending process which combines bamboo charcoal filtering with aging in plum liqueur casks and incorporates over 30 different whiskies in each blend. Suggest retail price, $55.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Vegan Cooking For Dummies® Offers Easy Steps to Eat Smart and Feel Better Now

More people are discovering how food is produced and processed and how food choices have an impact on their health, the health of other creatures, and the environment. Tired of feeling weighed down, lethargic, and overweight, families everywhere are taking charge of what's for dinner by going vegan. Veganism is a lifestyle abstaining from the consumption of meat, poultry, dairy products, eggs, and all foods originating from animals.

The perfect companion toLiving Vegan For Dummies®, Vegan Cooking For Dummies®(Wiley Publishing, Inc., November 2010, ISBN: 978-0-470-64840-7, $19.99) provides vegans, and those thinking about becoming vegan, with more than 160 healthy and hearty vegan recipes for every meal of the day. From your Saturday morning pancakes to a vegan-friendly version of your mom's famous mac and cheese, with a little prep-work and a few key ingredients, your family can be eating and feeling good in no time!

Other lessons include:
• The Vegan No-Nos (Ingredients to Avoid)
• Buy This Now: Must-Have Ingredients for the Vegan Kitchen
• Mom's Famous Mac and Cheese: Making Vegan Substitutions in Non-Vegan Recipes
• Stocking Up: Savvy Shopping Strategies
• The Clean Plate Club: How to Get Your Kids to Eat Foods That Pack a Punch
• When Hunger Strikes: Ten (Plus One!) Emergency Snacks for Desperate Vegans

Veganism is more than just not consuming and using animal-derived foods and products. It's about changing your lifestyle—whether for better health or as a personal statement—and Vegan Cooking For Dummies is the perfect way to start and maintain a healthy, balanced vegan diet today!

# # #

About the Author:
Alexandra Jamieson, CHHC, AADP, is a professionally trained vegan chef and a board-certified holistic health counselor. A vegan since 2000, she has appeared on several television shows and was featured in the award-winning documentary Super Size Me.

About the Book:
Vegan Cooking For Dummies®(Wiley Publishing, Inc., November 2010, ISBN: 978-0-470-64840-7, $19.99)is available at bookstores nationwide, major online booksellers, or directly from the publisher by calling (877) 762-2974.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Blue Angel Blue Bam!

As Thanksgiving approaches and we get into the Holiday is a quick and easy blue cocktail to liven up any Hanukkah Party—or ANY holiday party—The BLUE ANGEL BLUE BAM.

Blue BAM for Hanukkah
3 oz. Blue Angel Vodka
Dash Blue Angel Curacao

In a shaker combine vodka and curacao together with several ice cubes. Shake vigorously, then strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a sheet of edible silver foil.

To get extra creative garnish with edible Silver Foil; serve on silver cocktail napkin. For a variation, add a little lemon-lime soda.

Kansha: The Japanese Tradition of Giving Thanks

In her newest book, KANSHA: Celebrating Japan’s Vegan and Vegetarian Traditions, Elizabeth Andoh invites us to practice kansha – appreciation for nature’s edible gifts and the efforts of those who prepare wholesome, handsome meals from that bounty. As America celebrates the Thanksgiving holiday, this culinary message is especially poignant. Kansha – in any culinary culture – compels us to reduce waste, conserve energy, and sustain natural resources.

Expanding on the recipes and techniques she details in KANSHA, Japanese cooking expert Elizabeth Andoh has begun an open, on-line culinary classroom called KANSHAcooking. Discover how “nothing goes to waste in the kansha kitchen,” with recipes and menu suggestions that creatively convert vegetable peels and bits of produce into fabulous, food. Every six weeks Andoh shares new lessons that teach the basic tenets of kansha cooking through recipes, techniques, menu-planning, and presentation.

Addictively delicious Crispy Gourd Chips are fashioned from stock-making leftovers. Heaven-and-Earth Tempura Pancakes coax bits of produce languishing in the back of your veggie bin into lacy morsels. Eggplant Two Ways converts the often tough and usually discarded dark eggplant peels into a spicy sauté. With the scholarship and narrative flare that has become a trademark of her work, Andoh provides details on ingredients, technique, and menu-planning enabling you to construct myriad feasts from the more than 100 vegan recipes she offers up in KANSHA.

Heaven-and-Earth Tempura Pancakes (Ten Chi Kaki Age)

The name of this dish, Heaven and Earth, is a euphemism for kitchen scraps, namely the tops (heaven) and bottoms (earth) of produce: tender, leafy celery tops; tougher leek tops; mushroom stems; carrot and daikon peels; stubby ends of lotus and burdock root, parsnips, rutabagas, and bitter melon. All sorts of neglected or remaindered vegetable bits can be transformed into lovely, lacy-crisp, colorful tempura pancakes.

The key to making tasty pancakes from disparate ingredients is to select items that cook at approximately the same temperature and time. Cutting your vegetables so that most are long and thin and a few are in crescents or rounds will make it easier to form a cohesive mass. Dusting ingredients with cornstarch before adding them to the batter will also help the pancakes hold together.

When you are ready to form the pancakes, use a large, flat stainless-steel spoon or ladle to help shape them. Dipping the spoon or ladle into hot oil first will ensure easy release of the pancake as you slip it into the oil.

Another bit of advice: gaman, which translates as “reticence” or “reluctance.” Refraining from taking action is often considered a virtue in both the Japanese kitchen and Japanese society at large. My recipe instructs you not to take certain actions, though you may find it tough to follow such advice.

I provide two assorted-vegetable examples below, one using wintertime produce, the other showcasing summer’s bounty. At any time of year, use this recipe to guide you in creating your own heavenly pancake with earthy flavors. Serve with lemon or lime wedges and the three-pepper salt.

Makes 8 pancakes

Winter pancakes
1/2 red onion, cut into thin slices through the stem end to make crescent shapes (about 1/3 cup)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Scant 1/3 cup julienne-cut carrot peels (1-inch strips; about 3 ounces)
Scant 1/3 cup julienne-cut Satsuma imo, yam, or sweet potato peels (1-inch strips; about 2-1/2 ounces)

Summer pancakes
3-ounce chunk bitter melon, cut in half lengthwise, seeds removed, very thinly sliced, salted with 1/4 teaspoon salt, and drained about 1/4 cup
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 small zucchini, about 4 ounces total weight, tops trimmed, cut in half lengthwise, and then cut on the diagonal into thin slices, about 2/3 cup
Scant 1/3 cup julienne-cut kabocha squash peels (3/4-inch strips; about 3 ounces)
2 tablespoons finely shredded summer herbs such as fresh shiso leaves
4 or 5 fresh chives, cut into 1/2-inch lengths

Several ice cubes
1/3 cup cold water
1/4 cup self-rising cake flour
Vegetable oil for deep-frying
1 to 2 teaspoons aromatic sesame oil (optional)

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Generous pinch of kona-zanshō
Generous pinch of tōgarashi
Generous pinch of freshly ground black pepper
Lemon or lime wedges

Depending upon seasonal availability, choose to make either the winter pancakes or the summer pancakes: To make the winter pancakes, place the red onion in a bowl.

With a pastry brush, dust the slices thoroughly with some of the cornstarch. Pull gently to separate the crescent shapes, dusting again with a bit more cornstarch. Add the carrot and sweet potato peels to the bowl and dust with the remaining cornstarch. Toss to distribute the vegetables evenly.

To make the summer pancakes, with a pastry brush, dust the bitter melon slices thoroughly with some of the cornstarch, then place them in a bowl. Dust the zucchini slices and kabocha peels in a similar manner and add them to the bowl; toss to distribute evenly. Dust the shredded shiso leaves and chives with cornstarch and add them to the bowl; toss again to distribute evenly.

Make the batter just before frying: Place the ice cubes in a small bowl with half of the water. Sift the cake flour over the water and stir to mix slightly; there should still be lumps. If needed, add water, a few drops at a time, until the batter is the consistency of a thin pancake batter.

Pour the vegetable oil to a depth of 1-1/2 inches into a small wok or small, deep skillet, add the sesame oil, and heat slowly. Check the temperature with an unvarnished long wooden chopstick (or a bamboo skewer). Small bubbles will form around the tip when the oil is about 350°F.

Wait for about 45 seconds longer to allow the temperature to rise a bit more—to about 370°F—and then test the oil temperature with a few drops of batter. If they sink slightly, then rise to the surface and puff quickly but do not color, the oil is ready. You may need to fry the pancakes in batches to avoid crowding them in the pan. Preheat the oven to 200°F for keeping the cooked pancakes warm.

Spoon a bit of the batter over the cornstarch-dusted vegetables and toss lightly to coat the vegetables with the batter. Dip a large spoon or ladle into the hot oil. Place one-eighth of the vegetable mixture in the bowl of the oil-dipped spoon. Carefully tilt the spoon to slide the pancake into the hot oil, aiming to make a disk about 2 inches in diameter. The batter and cornstarch act as “glue” to keep the vegetable slivers together. Repeat to make more pancakes, being careful not to crowd the pan.

Most important, refrain from touching the pancakes for a full 30 seconds after you place them in the oil. It will seem like an eternity, but gaman will yield the best results. If wayward bits are strewn at the edges of your pan, carefully pick them up and place them on top of the still-moist pancake batter in the center. (Skill with long chopsticks will be well rewarded, though a long-handled fine-mesh skimmer can scoop beneath as well.) If the center of the pancake is very dry, dip the wayward bits in some fresh batter before “gluing” them in place. When the batter in the center of the disk seems barely moist, carefully invert the pancake.

After flipping, allow the pancakes to fry undisturbed for about 1 minute, or until crisp. Using cooking chopsticks or a skimmer, remove the pancakes from the oil and place them on a rack set over a baking sheet to drain. If frying in batches, place the baking sheet in the oven to keep the fried pancakes warm. Use the skimmer to clear the oil of batter bits between batches. When all of the pancakes are fried, transfer them to paper towels to absorb any additional surface oil.

To serve, line a plate or shallow bamboo basket withfolded paper (the Japanese use ones called shikigami or kaishi that are oil-absorbent on one side and oil-repellant on the other). Paper doilies make an attractive alternative. Mix together the salt and 3 peppers in a small bowl. Arrange the pancakes on the folded paper and put the lemon wedges and the pepper mixture on the side.

Celebrating Japan’s Vegan and Vegetarian Traditions
by Elizabeth Andoh
Ten Speed Press
October 19, 2010
$35.00/ Hardcover
Photographs by Leigh Beisch
ISBN-13: 978-1580089555